CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- The new traffic pattern in Carolina Beach was a topic of discussion at Tuesday's town council meeting.
Right before Easter weekend, Department of Transportation crews finished changing Lake Park Boulevard from four lanes to two, with a center turn lane, plus a bike lane to help alleviate traffic problems. But, residents are concerned the new configuration is creating more congestion.
The town manager says temporary lines were drawn on the boulevard and traffic lights weren't synced, causing the back-ups. Council considered going back to the D.O.T to get rid of the bike lane, but council voted that down.
Some say the bike lane is needed.
"A bike lane reduces traffic," Steve Mangiacapre of the Cape Fear Cyclists said. "It doesn't increase traffic. The whole thing with bike lanes is that you're on a bicycle and you don't have a vehicle. The more people you get on a bicycle, the less cars you're going to have."
Other residents say the new traffic pattern is problematic.
"Utter dismal failure," Carolina Beach resident and Business owner Tilford Christian said. "It doesn't work. Traffic is backing up. People are leaving."
Council decided the traffic pattern will stay as is, while city officials evaluate how it's working once permanent lines and the timing of lights is finalized.
Also tonight, the town council approved some minor changes to help people get on to Freeman Park during holiday weekends. Both lanes will be opened to inbound traffic, while outbound traffic will be let off the beach at peak times. Plus, the town will add additional law enforcement to help police crowds. Two tow trucks will also be on hand to help drivers who get stuck trying to get on and off the beach. The changes take effect Memorial Day weekend.